The Sultan Mosque, or Masjid Sultan in Malay, is a picturesque sight with its golden dome and beautiful clean architecture brings back memories of a certain Arabic palace from the movie Aladdin and to some extent rightly so. Historically proposed by Singapore's former ruler before Sir Stanford Raffles, Sultan Hussain Shah, a donation of $3,000 was made by the East Indian Company for the construction of the mosque.
In 1924, the mosque was later demolished and replaced with a new mosque headed by Irish architect Denis Santry of British firm Swans & MacLaren who adopted a Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating minarets and balustrades into the design. Much loved by her regular worshippers and patrons, it was not hard to garner immense monetary support and donations for the reconstruction to take place. This included donations made by the poor by their buying and selling glass bottles. Today an internal ring structure made entirely out of glass bottles pays homage to those who contributed despite their financial situation.
Standing on a site of 4,109 sq m, the mosque's main prayer hall holds up to 5,000 people in mass prayer.
Orientated towards Mecca, the Sultan Mosque has gone a long way back in history and represents the many Singaporean Muslims present today, majority of which come from Malays, Bugis, Javanese, Arabs, Tamil and Northern Indians ethnic backgrounds.
Due to its location in Kampong Glam, the mosque found itself at the centre of the infamous racial riots sparked by the Maria Hertogh case In 1950. Rioters hid in the mosque and were later dispersed by Muslim police officers.
The mosque continues to function as a place of worship for many with the area bustling with activity during the fasting month of Ramadan and Hari Raya Haji.
Visitors are welcome from 9.00am - 12.45pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm from Saturday to Thursday and 2.30pm - 4.00pm on Fridays. A guided tour is also provided for non-Muslims who wish to find out more about the mosque and the traditions behind the Muslim culture. Pre-bookings are required.